Thursday, February 17, 2011
MRI or Am I You?
There really is no clever way to work MRI into the title of a blog in less than a few minutes. Maybe if I had some more patience. Or more brainpower.
Coming up short on both right now.
Today Bennett is at the Cleveland Clinic, getting his brain scanned yet again for his 'routine' follow-up Magnetic Resonance Imaging scan to check to see if his brain tumor, the Stage II Oligoastrocytoma that was removed on August 27th, 2009 to stop his Infantile Spasms (and incidentally to keep the boy amongst the living...there is THAT), is starting to grow back in any way.
There is always that collective 'holding of the breath' on this day, wondering what the results will be. Obviously you want more than anything to get the results quickly and you want the results to be 'negative regrowth'.
And as each month passes the chances of regrowth go down, but that does not (as any parent with ANY kid with ANY problem can grok) mean that your fear goes down at the same percentage rates.
And, just like every other day that he has his MRI, there will always be the discussion about the right side of Bennett's brain. That 'indeterminate' reading of on area on the right side, that never changes in size or shape, but is always there, some funky oddity that Neuro-Oncology and Neuro-Surgery cannot seem to agree upon about whether it is something we should or should not be concerned about.
How do I, as Bennett's father, process that information? What should I DO with that information? I carry enough guilt around with me regarding my kids...am I adding to it by doing nothing about this 'indeterminate' area on the right side of Bennett's brain? It isn't causing any EEG spikes or seizures, it isn't growing, and according to all the research I've done we all have abnormalities all over our bodies.
In other words, my fantastic body (yeah RIGHT) if scanned would show some abnormalities in it that would differ from YOUR fantastic body and of course my brain if scanned would show some abnormalities in it (now that I can BELIEVE, Mister) that might not ever be able to be explained...ever.
But am I blowing it here by NOT pursuing this thing...by not pushing to find out more? But how can I know more? Who can I push? Those who are reviewing the scans have been pushed to the brink of their knowledge? Who else would you ask? What other roads do you drive down?
Drives me crazy, MRI Day.
I haven't gone in quite a while, have I mentioned that? It has become even less so now, especially now that Jenifer's sister has moved so close to Cleveland. There is even less reason for me to go, as she can go up, stay with her sister, even take Carter who loves to party with his cousins, then just jaunt over to the clinic (about a 20-25 minute car ride), stick Bennett in the MRI like a Pop-Tart, have a quick meet with the Neuro-Oncologist or the Epileptologist, and then BAM...back to the sister's house.
Saves a ton of dough on hotel, as we were paying like $170.00 a night to stay at the hotel that was next to the Clinic before, and we just don't have that kind of extra scratch right now. Times be tough all over.
Jen's cool with it, and it allows me to stay here and work, as these usually occur during the work week when I have something going on that is time sensitive. But I always feel guilty about it, like I am not living up to my end, doing my part, so while she's gone I try to do a couple of things here for her so when she comes back she goes 'Hey that's awesome.'
Working on a couple of those surprises tonight.
Speaking of surprises, yesterday afternoon there was a biggie. Normally on these trips, she bypasses the house on her way from picking Bennett up after work, goes to Carter's after-school Day Care, then keeps right on going to her sister's.
To my surprise, she calls me and says she is stopping by the house because Bennett pooped in his diaper and she wanted to change him. (How in the hell we are going to potty train him I simply do not know...)
I thought it was awesome, cause it meant I could see them both in the afternoon (since I won't be seeing either until late on Saturday) and I'm all for a couple of extra hugs since the morning ones are so rushed anyway.
They come in, and I have everything ready for changing. But as we take his pants off, we realize that he had a Transformers-style blow-out.
There was WAY more than meets the eye.
In fact, it had gone all the way down his legs, some had even gotten on his shoes that we had not seen. We then noticed that there had been some dropping OUT of his pants on the floor where he had come in to the house.
It was a Poopapalooza.
And of course we had to get him cleaned off with the wipes, get his clothes off, try to get him up to the shower, all the while trying to keep him calm, which he wasn't, keep his hands out of his mouth, which was by itself a monumental task.
Your values change dramatically in situations like these of course. The clothes he was wearing suddenly lost their value to us, we just threw them away with the dirty diaper and wipes and changing mat that was covered in excrement.
Afterward, as Jen was getting him dressed and I was cleaning up the area where he was changed, I was shocked that shit was pretty much everywhere in the immediate vicinity. How does one kid that small generate so much poop? I went outside, and there was even pieces of it leading from the car in the driveway, in the garage, all the way to the door. Not major huge turds or anything...but just chunks of poop.
It just floored me.
By far this was the worst poop disaster I had ever experienced with a kid. At least the few times he's popped off in the bathtub it was contained. Gross...but contained in a small space. This turned our house into Poop Central. In fact, since he had escaped Jen's grasp upstairs at one point (I did not know this until later) and still had a couple of places of muck on him, later that night around 10:00 PM or so I go upstairs and step in a piece of poop.
I had my boots on...I learned long ago never, EVER, to walk barefoot in this house.
I always have my shoes on or flip flops. ALWAYS. That's usually because of toys or food that Bennett scatters around. I had to take the boot off and then go clean it out, and you know how the bottom of a boot is textured right?
After they left, I found myself wondering if we'd be doing something like this when he was 5...or maybe 8...or maybe 15? He's making some progress in communication, but it is a snail's pace...how long will it take before we can take a real swing at potty training him?
Anyway...it's a good thing Jen DID stop to change him. I cannot imagine the horror show that would have transpired had she done what she might have normally done and tried to change him on the road. That would have been...I don't even want to think about it.
Wow...did I radically shift gears in the middle of this blog or what? Sorry. Won't happen again.